When writing texts, you sometimes need special characters. Especially if the texts are written in a foreign language. For example, some languages use characters that are not included in the currently selected keyboard layout. These characters can then only be integrated into the document with difficulty using the “Insert special characters” option. However, this is extremely annoying and time-consuming, especially with longer texts. It is then easier to change the keyboard language in Windows 10.
Windows 10 – changing the keyboard language made easy
Of course, changing the Windows 10 keyboard language only works if the language in question is installed. Depending on the country in which you bought your Windows version, sometimes only the national language is preinstalled. All other languages that you may want to use must be installed manually. Language packs are available for download from Microsoft for this purpose.
Install keyboard languages in Windows 10
Not every keyboard language is preinstalled in Windows 10. If a new keyboard language is required, it can be easily added using the following steps.
- Open the Windows settings. To do this, click on the Windows symbol and then select the gear symbol in the start menu. This is located in the bar that appears on the far left above the Windows symbol.
- Then you need to select the Time and Language section .
Select “Time and Language” in the settings menu.
- In the menu on the left, click on ” Language” . Then select the standard language under the heading “Preferred languages” in the menu that appears on the right.
The desired keyboard can be added in the language menu. To do this, you have to click on the standard language under the heading “Preferred languages”.
How to change the language in Word can be found in our article on this topic.
- Now click on the Options button.
Additional configuration options appear by clicking on the standard language. Click on Options here.
- All keyboards installed so far are displayed under the heading “Keyboards”. Another keyboard can be installed via Add keyboard.
Another keyboard can be installed under the heading “Keyboards” with “Add keyboard”.
- Clicking on “Add keyboard” opens a selection window. There you have to scroll to the desired language and click on it.
You can choose the keyboard you want from the list and click it to add it.
- The new option has been added to the list of keyboards. If you now want to change the Windows 10 keyboard layout, you can easily select the language.
The new language option is now displayed under “Keyboards”.
The abbreviation for the keyboard currently in use now appears in the system tray next to the time . If the German keyboard is currently selected, “DEU” will appear here, for example. If you click on this abbreviation, a window appears in which all available keyboard layouts are displayed as a list. The last point is the language settings. If you click on this, you will automatically be taken to the menu for the Windows language settings.
If you also want to install additional features of a language, you can also add another preferred language after step 3 instead of just installing the keyboard. To do this, select the “Add preferred language” option in the “Language” menu.
If you install additional languages, you can change more than just the Windows 10 keyboard.
Select the language you want and click “Next”.
Find the language you want and confirm with “Next”.
You can also set the corresponding language as the display language.
If you change the display language, Windows will no longer output the system information in German.
Caution : If you change the display language, the system language will change. This means that all menus, options and explanations are displayed in the new language. For example, if you select English as the display language, Windows 10 will communicate with you in English in the future. On the other hand, if you only select the keyboard or the language package without checking the box next to “Set as my display language”, only your keyboard layout changes.
There is also the option of changing your keyboard layout through Word. You can access the language settings via the “Language” field in the “Check” menu. There you can select the keyboard layout of installed editing languages. The current version of Word is part of Microsoft 365 .
Change the keyboard layout in Windows 10
If you have more than one layout installed, you can easily switch the keyboard language. Windows 10 offers different ways to do this.
Use the taskbar to switch the keyboard in Windows 10
The letter combination in the information area of the taskbar next to the time makes it possible to switch the keyboard in Windows 10 with just two clicks. For example, “DEU” stands for the German keyboard. If you hover the mouse over the letter abbreviation, additional information about the currently activated keyboard is displayed. With a left click all available keyboards are displayed as a list . One click activates the desired keyboard language. Each entry has two lines. The display language is in the upper line, the keyboard layout in the lower line.
Change the keyboard in the taskbar: Windows 10 shows all available keyboard languages as a list when clicked.
Change keyboard language in Windows 10 – with key combination
There are several shortcuts that can work for switching the keyboard. If you move the mouse over the language option in the system tray, you will already see a keyboard shortcut. In general, however, you have three options for switching between keyboard languages at lightning speed using a shortcut.
Windows key and space bar : This is the new Windows 10 key combination for changing a keyboard layout. It should always work if more than one keyboard is installed. Press and hold the Windows key, then press the spacebar. By repeatedly pressing the space bar, you can choose from the keyboard languages displayed.
ALT and SHIFT : This combination is the classic key combination for changing the keyboard. In some Windows 10 versions, however, this key combination now only provides information about which keyboard is currently activated.
CTRL and SHIFT : This combination is an alternative to ALT and SHIFT.
If you have changed the keyboard layout, the key assignment no longer necessarily corresponds to the characters specified on your keyboard. A very good example is the assignment of Z and Y in the German or English keyboard . While the Z is in the middle of the top row of letters in the German keyboard layout, the Y is there in the English keyboard. This can also lead to errors when entering passwords.
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